Idol is in Portland, OR for the next round of hopefuls. Brittany Zika is up first and she talks about a recent experience where she sang “Gravity” on stage with Sara Bareilles. She trips while walking up on stage and Steven takes the opportunity to cut up “did you fall for me? God, I’m much too young to be this old!” He has a half-up/half-down do and he does look rather youthful tonight. Brittany says they call her “tripster the hipster”, she isn’t afraid to let her freak flag fly. Judges are immediately sold on her bag o’ goods. JHO says she has one of the prettiest voices, and our “hipster” is stunned. She takes off the hat and glasses at DAWGS request and they are in love with her. She actually seems very sweet, it’s only a matter of time before her spirit crushed and she is left bitter and jaded on the whole experience.
Ben Purdom is feeling a little under the weather, burping, blowing his nose, and practically throwing up in his mouth. He’s a cable television salesman by day and certainly not a singer at any other time. He attempts a Lady Gaga tune and Steven finally lets an expletive fly. DAWG looks like he wants to shoot himself in the head, but they let him do another song. DAWG says it’s better, but still terrible. They send him on his merry way to go throw up in a bucket.
After lunch, the energy is on the upswing and Jermaine Jones hopes to impress the judges. He’s 6’ 8½ ” tall, and his voice matches his size. Very low, but a bit pitchy DAWG. Judges think he is really gifted and they give him the go ahead, but ask him to loosen up, DAWG says “he sweatin’ like a foo up dere!” And the gentle, schweddy, giant is through.
Thank goodness for DVR, these commercials are a killer. JHO is late the next day because she lost her tights. She probably left them in Casper Smart’s motel room. So very JHO-ish of her. Next up is Brittnee Kellogg, a young mom of two. She is a bit emotional because she felt held back by her marriage, but now she is divorced and ready to fly. She actually looks like Brittany Spears when she was younger, before she went bat shit cray cray. Our Brittnee sings very well, JHO is into it, DAWG is diggin’ her vibe, three yeses! She asks JHO for some motherly advice and J-HO tells her it “takes a village.” Britnee has her whole family there to support her and I think she may go far!
Sam Gershman comes bounding in next and she’s very showtuney broadway. Steven tells her she would make a good Easter bunny and she tells him she’s Jewish. Geez Steven, open mouth, insert foot. Judges take a pass, but they tell her to keep working on it.
David Weed is up next and Steven said good think his first name isn’t Smokey. He is a fast food worker and every time he has to say “do you want fries with that” he dies a little inside. I can’t help but laugh at that just a bit…DAWG is also laughing at the kid before he begins, and with good cause. He is screechy and terrible, and sweatin’ like a foo! DAWG asks him about his other dreams and David is interested in stand-up comedy. This poor kid would get eaten alive, so judges send him away.
Sidebar: Images of the Ryan Seacrest Doughnut made by a fan will haunt me forever. In case you missed it…
Romeo Diahn from Liberia is next and he tells a bit about his background before he came to America. Judges do like him overall, but they are a bit worried about how he will fare. We shall see. Naiomi Gillies arrives and wants to sing “Cryin’” by Aerosmith. She does an okay job, judges seem to like it, but she’s a bit shaky in parts. DAWG says “that’s how you do it!” And she’s in!
Sidebar: Let’s just take a moment to reflect on the “Cryin’” music video which featured Josh Holloway as a purse thief. Mmmmm…dreamy…
The standard string of bad auditions with contestants dressed up in ridiculous outfits, screaming, crying, punching camera men, and then Ben Harrison tries to make everyone smile. This kid is a bit creepy, he looks like knock off version of Andy Richter. He gives me the willies and he is so bad, Steven uses his little sound machine to make a “coo coo” noise, and this kid is definitely coo coo pants!
Our final audition in Oregon is Jessica Phillips and her backstory involves her boyfriend who had a stroke. She is more of a caretaker to him now and she is helping him recoup and learn to speak again. It’s totally gut wrenching. Of course, we know that AI wouldn’t show us this story if she totally sucked. She gets through with no hesitation, and she is on her way to living the dream.
We start the second night this week with a flashback to 8 years ago when little Carrie Underwood was just a hayseed from Oklahoma with a dream. She auditioned in St. Louis and that is where we are tonight. The opening begins with a curmudgeon taxi driver, Walter, bitching about all the traffic and congestion that auditions are going to cause. Steven has no clue where he is, as usual, but nevertheless, the ladies are swooning. The first up is Johnny Keyser, a cute young buck from Florida. Judges are sold on him immediately and JHO and DAWG can’t get enough.
We get some flashback clips of some of the more outrageous auditions and some of my favorite DAWG moments when he holds his papers in front of his face and he’s laughing so hard that his whole body shakes. There hasn’t been much of that lately…
Next up is Rachelle Lamb, another young mom, going through a bitter divorce, husband held her back from chasing her dream, let’s see if she can catch it…she was a professional singer, I think she is okay, but Steven likes her “moxie”, three yeses.
The good streak is over, a string of terrible auditions are up, the big guy dressed as Elvis was just scary. Ugg…now that I have washed my eyes out with bleach, I am refreshed. Reis Kloeckener is up next, he was bullied in high school, but then he found a safe place to fall in the outstretched jazz hands of the choir. Good thing Simon Cowell isn’t there, the poor kid would end up huddled in the fetal position in a corner. He has a lot of confidence and Steven loves it, he makes that face of eternal contentment…Steven is weeping, guyliner running, judges yessing!
Steven is so moved he goes out to the crowd and gives the hoepfuls a pep talk. Ethan Jones is so excited he has cut his head open before the audition. Ethan was in a band with his father, but his father left to go to rehab and Steven can relate well. He is all right, but I think he needs a little work and a Band-Aid. The judges put him right through.
The next audition is from Mark Ingram who works as a hotel auditor at the location for the auditions. He comes in with several of his staff members for support and his voice is totally cracking and Steven looks totally pissed off. The judges try to deliver some constructive criticism and he keeps breaking out into song…and quite a sweat too. Is it just my imagination, or did he have some moose knuckle going on???
The last auditioner is Lauren Gray. She comes from a family that owns and runs a one stop wedding shop and she signs with her father. Judges are immediately stunned and JHO tears up.
Next week is Hollywood already and I must say, it’s difficult to pick an MVP given the limited amount of data we have been given.